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Friday, November 22, 2013

What NOT to Get My Kids this Holiday

It is upon us once again. The insane frenzy of all things bright, sparkly and overstimulating. The blinking commercials and overflowing catalogs have made my children want every toy ever made. Ever. This is where the parent filter needs to come into play. I am not trying to be a Scrooge but I am going to be honest here, Lorax style. I am the naked momma, I speak for all the (clothed) mommas who don't want their homes to turn into a Toys R Us.

The thing is, I love the holidays and the pure magic of watching it unfold through a child's eyes. But I like it simpler. I like the focus to be less on being a gluttonous consumer and more on the wonder of it all. And as for those toys that my kids that my kids "can't live without" (we will call that CLW here) that make both their draft list and their final list? Let Santa bring them. Let's not steal Santa's thunder by giving them what's at the top of their list two days before Christmas. You know who are.

So here you go. Here is a brief list (I could probably think of oh so many more but I'm trying not to be a complete buzzkill) of what not to get my kids this holiday:

  • Anything with batteries. Yeah that's right, I said it. I don't love loud, constant stimulation. Or baby dolls that seem possessed. Or ones that wet the bed (I'm pretty sure we have enough of that going around here anyway). I really don't even want to change the batteries on the shit that Santa brings from the CLW list. We have found that our kids attention spans with toys last much longer on toys that require a much more natural thing: (drumroll please, I'm about to get serious) their imagination.

They really just want to eat pasta naked.
Pay no attention to the open bottles of wine behind them. This is an old picture.
We have many more open bottles now.

  • If it is sold via infomercial, it is probably going to suck in real life. Unfortunately, we have lived and learned on this one.

I can't believe I've been cooking for all of these years without a pillow around my neck.

  • Candy. We are still working through last years heart shaped Valentine chocolates. You know who brings them Christmas candy? Santa baby. It is the ultimate stocking filler. Seriously, stop stealing his thunder. If anyone's giving my kids a sugar high it is going to be this guy:

Geez Santa, you could have shared some egg nog with the rest of us.
Greedy bastard.

  • Would you want it in your home? If the answer is remotely close to a hell no than please mother of all things holy, don't give (or regift) it to us.

Awwww, you shouldn't have. Really.

  • Anything that breathes. I can barely keep my children alive. If you give them a pet than you need to be prepared that it will be instantly regifted back to you. 

Wait. I can custom make it costumes too?!
Still going to have to pass.
I'm not even sure what type of animal this is.

  • Things that are completely too old for the recipient. I'm looking at you Lego set of the Eiffel Tower. If you give my four year old something with over 250 pieces, please set aside the 17 hours it is going to take to help us put it together. Then stick around for the 44 seconds for it to be  destructed. And then that bonus 17 hours again, please. Better yet, may I recommend a Lego gift card with a side of a vat of wine.

Hold the phone.
I just saw that this costs hundreds of actual dollars and doesn't come
with someone who will build, guard and protect it.
If you are rolling in your Benjamins, how about we set Junior up with a college fund instead.

  • Things that are completely too young for the recipient. I'm trying to not have them grow up too fast either. But if a toy is designed for the under 18 month generation, the above 18 month generation is going to see it as too babyish. You can even bet some smart 16 month olds aren't going to be feeling it either. I know it is the thought that counts, but for a toy that won't be played with, no matter how good of a deal it was PLEASE donate it to Toys for Tots or another fabulous non-profit instead. 

"I love it!"
Said no one over the age of two ever.

The truth of it is that there are too many kids living without enough to give in excess to those who are lucky enough to already have plentiful gifts under their tree. Let's make sure that there is enough love to go around. Give back. Let's teach our kids to the same. A kinder more generous world could probably help bring the world peace that I'm really hoping finds its way to making more Santa CLW lists this year. Until then, please especially remember the no batteries request.

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, 
stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
 Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Wishing you all things merry...

1 comment:

  1. Love love love this post and your thanksgiving gratitude one too! Amen to all of it! Keep rockin it!